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Capgemini deploys Google Apps...to itself

Capgemini is touting its first Google Apps Premier Edition (Google Docs, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk and Start Page) deployment since the $10 billion consulting and outsourcing firm brought Google's productivity suite into its practice.Guess what.

Capgemini is touting its first Google Apps Premier Edition (Google Docs, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk and Start Page) deployment since the $10 billion consulting and outsourcing firm brought Google's productivity suite into its practice.

Guess what. Capgemini is its own first customer, deploying Google Apps for 165 agents and supervisors at its Customer Care & Intelligence Center in Junction City, Kansas.

I was expecting an announcement of a huge financial services or manufacturing company with thousands of users at $50 per user per year.

The press release states:

They can send e-mail, submit reports, and create spreadsheets focused on answering questions as well as share information related to customer issues. Using Google Talk, agents can send instant messages to a supervisor for assistance with unique call scenarios. With the information now available in real-time, agents no longer have to end the call, seek out the answers, and return the customer's call.

That's doesn't sound like a scenario that couldn't be handled by other solutions found in enterprises, but it is low cost and collaborative without the back-end hassle of dealing with email and collaboration servers. Then again, with 80,000 employees, Capgemini must have plenty of existing applications and infrastructure to handle those 165 people in Kansas.

It reminds me of the way salesforce.com began by getting a few seats at time in big enterprises as a proof of concept for its SaaS CRM application. When all of Capgemini is using Google Apps (replacing Microsoft's stack of apps and servers) we will know that Google has arrived in the enterprise, and it won't be anytime soon.